A HOSPICE charity shop in Dovercourt has been ransacked by thieves who stole jewellery and caused significant damage worth hundreds of pounds.

St Helena, in Bagshaw Road, was targeted overnight between Tuesday January, 23 and Wednesday, January 24 with crooks entering by smashing the glass panel on the front door.

During the break-in, more than £200 worth of jewellery was stolen - the sales of which could have helped fund care and support for residents facing incurable illnesses and bereavement.

The aftermath of the raid was discovered by the shop manager on Wednesday morning and revealed a “daunting repair bill” for St Helena’s Hospice.

This is the second burglary in a St Helena charity shop in less than three months after a hospice shop in Coggeshall was targeted at the end of November.

Tim Morgan, retail area manager at St Helena, said: “This has caused more heartache to our community, along with additional bills to pay for repairs – money which would have been spent on supporting our patients and their families.

“Not only do we have the repair bill, but over £200 worth of jewellery was stolen that could have been sold to raise money. We also lost more than £300 in sales as we had to close the store for a period to clean up the mess."

Harwich and Manningtree Standard: Pattern - The St Helena Hospice in Coggeshall was broken into in November, 2023Pattern - The St Helena Hospice in Coggeshall was broken into in November, 2023 (Image: Google/Canva)

Tim also explained that “only 27 per cent” of their income comes from the NHS meaning that 73 per cent needs to be fundraised, which includes by local St Helena shops.

St Helena bosses are now urging anyone who may have witnessed the break in or knows anything about the incident to contact Essex Police quoting reference number 421245424.

The shop is open from Monday to Saturday, 9am to 5pm, and Sunday, 10am to 4pm, with donations towards repairing the shop damage and the loss of funds welcomed.